JGSWS meets on the second Monday of each month, from September through June. Doors open at 6:30 PM unless noted otherwise. Our meeting location is the LDS Factoria Building, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006 (in Factoria, just off I-90 and I-405). Admission is free.

NEXT MEETING (via Zoom):  

"Jewish Genealogy in the Germanies," presented by Roger Lustig

Monday, November 8, 2021, at 6 PM PDT via Zoom (Please note early start time)

The JGSWS invites you to attend this meeting via Zoom. Zoom doors open at 5:30 PM for networking, and the meeting begins at 6 PM. Registration is required.

To register for this meeting, click this link or copy it into your web browser:

You will be prompted to enter your name and email address. When you hit ENTER, you will
automatically be sent an email with the Zoom meeting link.


The Germany where our ancestors lived is not the Germany of today. Its boundaries have changed markedly over time. Before its unification in 1871, Germany was more a concept than a state, composed of dozens of kingdoms, duchies, and principalities large and small. Each of these states had its own laws and attitudes toward Jews. To do research in “Germany,” one must know which places belonged to which state at a given time, the legal status of Jews there, and the records that they kept. Germany has an enormous wealth of records pertaining to Jews, especially after 1800, but there are no simple, global rules for using them.

This talk works backwards from today’s Germany to the early 19th century, emphasizing historical events and their impact on Jewish life, and the way records were kept. Where (in what states) were my ancestors located and what was the legal status of Jews there? What records exist and were kept where? To properly research Jewish records there, you will need to answer these questions. Here is your opportunity to learn from an expert in German-Jewish genealogy!


Roger Lustig is a consultant and family history researcher based in Princeton, NJ. He is one of the long-time leaders and expert research coordinator of JewishGen’s German Research Division (formerly GerSIG, the German-Jewish Special Interest Group). He is an expert on general German Jewish research and history and specializes in the parts of Prussia that became Polish in the 20th century. Roger is a native speaker of German and has had extensive experience with different types of old German handwriting and print and the information contained in handwritten records. He has researched in libraries and archives across Germany and Poland, and transcribed countless vital records, with many from West Prussia and Upper Silesia. Roger has worked in archives in the US, Germany, and Poland and advises museums and civic groups. Additionally, he has developed databases and contributed over 25,000 records to JRI-Poland, while keeping abreast of research concerning all the former and current German-speaking areas.


December 13: TBA